A ‘sneaky’ man went to great lengths to hide dating apps and social media he wasn’t supposed to have without police approval. His blatant lies were exposed after a police denunciation.
Ryan Davies, of Victoria Road in Wrexham, appeared before a judge at Mold Crown Court on Thursday afternoon. He admitted to the Magistrates Court that he breached one of the terms of his sexual abuse prevention order.
The 22-year-old was made subject to the order after being convicted in October 2019 after sending videos of himself masturbating to a teenage girl. As part of his punishment, along with a period of custody, he was banned from having social media accounts without notifying the police.
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The court heard from prosecutor Andrew Green that the former teaching assistant was visited by police on January 17 last year at his home. There he denied having any form of social media when asked about it – which later turned out to be a lie.
In fact, the court heard that Davies had secret Instagram and Snapchat accounts. The police were informed of these accounts the following month.
Police returned to Davies’ home in Wrexham armed with the information. He denied any knowledge of the two accounts, but was quickly arrested after an iPhone was found in the passenger footwell of his car.
The smartphone was forensically scanned and officers found the accounts – one of which had been in use since October 2020. The court heard the phone was configured so that if officers searched for connected devices to the Internet, it would display as a Playstation 4.
Police also discovered that Davies had a TikTok account as well as profiles on dating apps Bumble and Grindr. Sexual content was also discovered in the device’s photo and video gallery.
His web history was also found to be “disturbing”, the court heard. The prosecutor said a search had been conducted for “barely legal gay pornography”, among other things.
Elen Owen, defending, said Davies was “clearly a socially isolated young man”. He took a “tremendous risk” by hiding this device from the authorities at a time when he was otherwise “life changing”.
She said: “He tells me today that he knew what he was doing was wrong. What he did was access various apps and when you’re 22 that’s how it is. that they live their lives these days – online.”
Ms Owen also told the court that Davies eventually spoke to the police about the phone before his arrest. She added that if he hadn’t opened up about it, the police might never have found his hiding place.
Judge Niclas Parry said the court faced a “tough choice” when dealing with him. However, he felt convinced to narrowly suspend the prison sentence.
He said: “You are a slippery, devious and dishonest man. All of this makes it very difficult to work with you on an order that has been placed because you pose a high risk of harming young children.
“However, you had the good sense to plead guilty. The device was not used to commit another crime and this is the first violation of this order.”
The judge ordered the destruction of Davies’ secret phone after his one-year prison sentence was suspended for 18 months. During this time, he must perform 120 hours of unpaid work as well as a rehabilitation activity of 20 days.
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